I was in Enguera a few weeks ago before walking south on the GR7 see it’s a gas.
I’m now back again, this time with The Pieman and both fully laden with backpacking gear. Repeating the journey Liverpool to Alicante by plane, bought some gas, train to Xativa and a quick taxi to Enguera. We were soon swimming in the hotel pool to freshen up from the travel. The notorious butane gas cylinder was recovered from reception, but we now had two, surplus to our requirements. It’s a long story going back to my Day trip to Spain.
Samuel the taxi man came to collect us in the morning for the 18k trip up to Benali. He was in his smart Merc so my plan of a few extra kilometres on the dirt track to the Rio Grande evaporated. Before he went, I presented him with the spare gas cylinder. He looked a little puzzled.
We trudged down the well surfaced track under our heavy loads cursing Sam’s protective nature towards his car. I’ve driven down far worse tracks whilst out climbing in Spain. We were carrying 3litres of water as the first fuente was over 27k away and on the first day we did not want to overdo things. Water for camping is always a problem in Spanish mountains. Several forestry jeeps passed us, they stopped for a chat, but any information gained from them seemed conflicting. Of course the Rio Grande was dry.
Our destination, the rocky escarpment of Caroche [1126m] was always visible and didn’t seem so far but the tracks in this wilderness are very tortuous avoiding the ravines.
The day became hotter and hotter as we climbed and descended into another ravine and time for some food in the shade. We realised the hours were passing. We wouldn’t make the fuente at Collardo del Caroche, so we started looking for possible camp sites at 5pm — not easy in this rocky territory. A side track looked promising with some flat ground. Whilst I faffed with the tent The Pieman emerged from the bushes pleased with his discovery, a partridge feeding set up, seeds and water. Our own 20 gallon container of water!! How lucky is that? Get the brew on.
The tent pegs wouldn’t go into the stony ground, but there were plenty of rocks around.
Under the slopes of Caroche a full moon and clear skies gave us lots of light and stars, and a cold night!